South Charleston fire department applying for federal staffing grant

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The South Charleston Fire Department has received approval from city lawmakers to apply for a federal grant.

The department is applying for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from FEMA, which departments use for maintaining or increasing the number of employees.

South Charleston Fire Chief Virgil White said at Thursday’s South Charleston City Council meeting the money will be used hiring nine firefighters for a new fire station to be located on Corridor G.

“It’s a three-year grant and they pay 75% for the first two years, and 35% of the salaries and benefits for the third year,” he said. “Then we take over the whole salaries and everything after the third year.”

The savings, according to White, would total more than $1 million.

The South Charleston Fire Department has 43 full-time firefighters. The hirings have been on hold.

The fire department has until May 26 to submit a request.